Second time I’ve done this event, starting at Sedbergh School and climbing up onto the fells from the very start it’s a run of mixed terrain that is as enjoyable as it is challenging.
This year we started from the Main Street and wound our way up the grassy hills, it is steep and tough going for the first 5/6 miles. Last time I ran Howgills I was undergoing physio and awaiting mri results for a possible stress fracture so I was running cautiously. This time round my ankle was still painful but I was feeling confident and I was picking good lines through the downhill sections. After the initial climbs the race drops down through the valley for a long stretch, I was absolutely bombing it until I went flying on a stream crossing. Salomon Speedcross are excellent on grassy tracks but their Achilles heel is wet rock. Anyway I fell forward at a pretty high speed hitting my wrist and knee, it put me out of the race for around 10 mins and I was paining from then on and struggled for the next few miles. Thanks to everyone who offered help/bandages etc I was badly bruised but ok!
I kept going and probably down to fatigue and weakness in my knee post fall I took another tumble down a grassy slope, landing on my back and cramping up both legs, that was around mile 14.
Still I pressed on and regained a few of the places I’d lost due to the first fall and settled in, the weather was good for running, overcast with a little light rain. The latter half of the race is fairly flat, muddy in places but very varied. Pootled on to the end feeling a bit low on energy and fairly battered and bruised.
Still knocked 40 mins of last years time and finished 11th in my category (out of not very many!) but still pleased to have made some progress from last year.